The phrase “fit as a fiddle” is a simile that means being in good health; something that’s in sound condition.
The Origin Of ‘As Fit As a Fiddle’
The origin of this phrase is not clear. However, it may have something to do with the maintenance involved in keeping a musical instrument in fit condition. Indeed, instruments like guitars, flutes, violins and others require a level of care to keep them in good shape and functioning properly.
For example, let’s look at a fiddle. These typically refer to stringed instruments, such as a violin. In order to keep a violin in a working state, its strings must be replaced if they break, tiny pegs need to be kept tightened, and it should be cleaned every now and then to prevent dust buildup. This sort of maintenance keeps the violin healthy or “fit,” so to speak. Thus, with this phrase, a person’s health is being compared to a well-maintained fiddle.
But how old is this saying? It goes back to at least the early 17th century. For example it is written in a book titled English-men for my Money, by Haughton William, 1616:
“This is excellent ynfayth, as fit as a fiddle.”
That means this expression is over 400 years old, and it could very well be much older!
- I was worried about Jake getting sick after his trip to Hawaii, but it’s been a week since he returned and he’s still as fit as a fiddle.
- Jane eats a healthy diet, she gets regular exercise, and has a solid sleep schedule. She believes these things help her to be as fit like a fiddle.